Thriller

[Review] Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Series: None

Publication Date: June 5th, 2012

Publisher: Crown Publishers

Number of Pages: 415

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Romance

Source: School library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

(more…)

[Review] Blood of My Blood – Barry Lyga

Blood Of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3)

Author: Barry Lyga

Series: Jasper Dent #3

Publication Date: September 9th, 2014

Publisher: Little Brown

Number of Pages: 464

Genre: Thriller, YA, Mystery, Action

Source: Public library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz’s serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz’s own home in tiny Lobo’s Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he’s never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: “Like father, like son?” Who is the true monster?
The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet…the Crow King.


Review

Well that was an anticlimatic ending to the series.

This is kind of disappointing to be honest. After two fantastic books, the series flatlines into a slow, somewhat dull finale. It’s not a bad book, it’s just not as great as the last book should be.

I’m underwhelmed and a little ashamed to say that I was actually happy that the book ended. I was just a little disappointed with where the novel went. I wanted more blood.

In the beginning, I was very happy with the book. There’s a badass escape and you figure out some important information. It’s just when it starts to repeat over and over that it gets kind of boring.

Obviously there’s less action in this novel. It’s not like it’s gone, but there is a lot less suspense. The ending was pretty good but it didn’t pack a punch at all. Lots of jaw-dropping information is revealed. It just doesn’t have the effect that it should have had.

I was annoyed with Jazz in this book. He was the charming, tortured soul in the first two novels but I found him downright annoying in this novel. He has really great character development. He has become fixated on the safety of his mother and it is the only thing that keeps him sane. He is this close to becoming a sociopath and much of the book is spent on the “is it gonna happen or not” aspect. I gets a little redundant.

Connie on the other hand, felt absolutely useless in this book. After a fourth of the novel, she’s been pushed to the background of the book due to an injury. This has both good and bad repercussions. In a bad way, I felt like she was weak and useless. But at least it allows for Lyga to focus on the conflict with Jazz. And wow it was complicated.

Lyga skillfully uses red herring and small clues to help propel the story along. Which was desperately needed. As good as the book was, it still wasn’t the best out of all of the books.

I don’t know if it’s my sadistic side, but I enjoyed reading about the violent killings and investigations more than I did about Jazz’s fucked up family. The Crow King is revealed and more importantly, Billy Dent’s childhood is revealed. As a fan of the series, I liked learning about it, but I much preferred the crime aspect.

Well at least I know I like crime novels now.

3.5/5 Stars

Welcome to the Dark House – Laurie Faria Stolarz

Welcome to the Dark House

Welcome to the Dark House

Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz

Series: Welcome to the Dark House #1

Publish Date: July 22nd, 2014

Genre: Horror, YA, Thriller, Mystery

What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.


Review

This was one of my first times reading a horror YA novel because I’m pretty sure that Mary Downing Hahn doesn’t count (She’s fab). Welcome to the Dark House was decidedly not scary in any way which is a shame because although I don’t like horror, if I’m reading a horror novel, I expect to be scared. The tone of the writing lacked the creep factor that would have made me scared. Instead of actually being terrified, I felt pity for the characters and I’m fairly certain that pity isn’t supposed to be the main emotion felt during horror.

Nonscary factor aside, I actually enjoyed this novel. Although I guessed the purpose of the contest less than a hundred pages in, I found the novel interesting. But by the end, I was kind of disappointed and wished that I had picked a different book to introduce me to the genre (but can you blame me for picking this book based on the cover and synopsis?)

The writing is confusing. It changes between seven different point-of-views and it’s very difficult to distinguish between each one. Many times, I’d be halfway through a chapter in Frankie’s POV and forget that it was him. Even Garth, the guy that’s supposed to be “creepy” and “trouble-making” sounds the same as Ivy, who is the complete opposite.

The characterization is also sloppily done most likely a result of the seven different POVs and the fact that every one sounds exactly the same. It’s shallowly done for some, a little better for others based on what their fear was. But even so, in the end, I felt like I barely knew who they were. I could care less if they died or not.

The plot was slow. Half of the book was spent setting up the contest and foreshadowing the bad events that are to come. However, I feel like Stolarz didn’t utilize this to the best of her ability, evidently seen in the characterization and the lackluster tone. Isn’t the introduction to the action supposed to make the reader feel uneasy? The book just seemed to lack the “umph” factor that would have made the reader scared. And then that ending. What the heck was that ending? It was rushed and squeezed into the last forty pages and a lot happened in those forty pages. The book is obviously set up for a sequel and one that I’m looking forward to reading only so that I can see what happens to the last people standing. I really liked how Stolarz used the seven fear essays as the epilogue even if it also really annoyed me because I wanted to know more.

3/5 Stars